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Spring meeting of the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America

Friday-Saturday, March 24-25, 2017

Earlham College


Printable poster for this event: PDF

Preliminary schedule of meeting: PDF (As of 20 Mar)

Preliminary list of Abstracts: PDF (As of 19 Mar)

Tickets for Friday Dinner and Saturday Lunch are available during on-line early registration (or, see the Announcement page for information on by-mail pre-registration). After the early registration due date, subject to our cancellation policy, some meal tickets may become available at the registration desk Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

Friday Dinner Menu: Caesar Salad Or Italian Salad, Meat or Vegetable Lasagna, Roasted Squash and Zucchini OR Green Beans , Garlic Bread, Iced Tea and Iced Water, Cannoli Bites
Saturday Lunch Menu:
Fresh Fruit Salad, Assorted Wraps (including vegetarian options), Homemade Potato Chips, Canned Sodas and Bottled Waters, Brownies and Cookies

Call for Papers: due date is Friday, Mar 10, 2017 extended to Friday, Mar 17, 2017
Web-based registration (via LATE REGISTRATION NOW OPEN. Early Registration due date was Friday, Mar 10, 2017 extended to Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017
2017 ICMC pre-registration: Early registration due date is now closed. Late registration due date is Friday, Mar 24, 2017, pending availability. There will also be on-site registration at the check-in table, pending availability.

Invited Talks

Jennifer Quinn

University of Washington Tacoma

"Epic Math Battles: Counting vs. Matching"

Which technique is mathematically superior? The audience will judge of this tongue-in-cheek combinatorial competition between the mathematical techniques of counting and matching. Be prepared to explore positive and alternating sums involving binomial coefficients, Fibonacci numbers, and other beautiful combinatorial quantities. How are the terms in each sum concretely interpreted? What is being counted? What is being matched? Which is superior? You decide.

"The Combinatorialization of Linear Recurrences"

Binet’s formula for the nth Fibonacci number,

is a classic example of a closed form solution for a homogenous linear recurrence with constant coefficients. Proofs range from matrix diagonalization to generating functions to strong induction. Could there possibility be a better way? A more visual approach? A combinatorial method?
This talk introduces a combinatorial model using weighted tiles. Coupled with a sign reversing involution, Binet’s formula becomes a direct consequence of counting exceptions. But better still, the weightings generalize to find solutions for any homogeneous linear recurrences with constant coefficients.


St. Mary's College of Maryland

"Harmonious Equations: an Exploration of Math & Music"

Mathematics and music seem to come from different spheres (arts and sciences), yet they share an amazing array of commonalities. We will explore these connections by examining the musical experience from a mathematical perspective. The mathematical study of a single vibrating string unlocks a world of musical overtones and harmonics-and even explains why a clarinet plays so much lower than its similar-sized cousin the flute. Calculus, and the related field of differential equations, shows us how our ears hear differences between two instruments-what musicians call timbre-even when they play the same note at the same loudness. Finally, abstract algebra gives modern language to the structures beneath the surface of Bach's magnificent canons and fugues. Throughout the talk, mathematical concepts will come to life with musical examples played by the speaker, an amateur violinist.


Indiana Project NExT Panel Session:

Teaching a Bimodal Audience


Julie Beier, Earlham College
Sheryl Stump, Ball State University
Felicia Tabing, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology

Moderator: Derek Thompson, Taylor University

We often find ourselves with a class that has two clear subgroups: students who are prepared vs. those who are underprepared, motivated majors vs. nonmajors fulfilling a requirement, or even a simple bimodal grade distribution.  How do we tailor our teaching to encourage and support both groups and maintain our course standards? Panelists will discuss their past experience with confronting this problem, including concrete examples of tasks designed to help identify and engage a bimodal audience.  The audience will be  encouraged to discuss their own experiences and classroom techniques and tricks to address during a Q&A and brainstorming session.


Student Activities Workshop

Prof. Michael Karls
Ball State University

The Mathematics of Star Trek

Underlying science fiction series such as Star Trek are scientific ideas both real and imagined.  Starting with examples from the popular television and film series, we will look at how science fiction, science, and mathematics go hand-in-hand. Topics will include mathematical ideas related to Red Shirt Survivability, the Transporter, and if time permits, Tribbles!

“So You Think You Know Math?”

Prof. Paul Fonstad
Franklin College

A trivia game show for students

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